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Best endurance road bikes 2024 — comfy mile munchers for long rides, sportives, audaxes and more

The best endurance road bikes should come with comfort and steady handling without compromising on performance

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Endurance bikes are in essence the softer, more comfortable versions of race-orientated road bikes. It's also a bike type that has seen a real boom in recent years, and for a good reason. Endurance road bikes generally come with a more relaxed geometry, which means you don't have to be a seasoned yogi to be able to hold your riding position even on multi-hour rides. With that relaxed geo also comes calmer handling, frames tuned to smooth the ride and capacity for wider tyres and mudguards.

Not only do endurance road bikes often suit non-pro riders much better than race-oriented, speedy road bikes, but they are also well suited for the northern hemisphere riding conditions. The larger volume road bike tyres (upwards from 25mm) smooth out rough roads and with mudguard compatibility, you can ride all year round and stay dry.

The longer wheelbase makes endurance bikes more stable on descents, and the higher handlebar position reduces the strain on your back and neck. Everything about endurance road bikes has been designed to make them remain comfortable over very long days on the saddle - but that doesn't mean they are sluggish or slow at all. 

> Bike geometry 101: Find out why stack & reach are important

While a sparkly race-ready road bike might look more appealing with its aggressive setup, in reality, most of us won't be that much slower - or any slower at all - on an endurance road bike. That is because when you don't have to stretch yourself to the limits of your physiology or grind up hills with very heavy gearing, you are going to tackle more miles than you would if you were chewing your stem in an aggressive position. 

There is a lot to like about endurance bikes, and you can see the best ones we've tested below and read more about what they're like at the very bottom of this guide, in the FAQ section. 

Best endurance bikes

Giant Defy Advanced SL 0

Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 2024

Best endurance road bike
Buy now for £11499 from Giant Bicycles
Excellent frameset
High-end spec
Not many people will spend this amount
Tweaked geometry won't suit all

Giant Defy is an endurance bike that has been around for years and with each one, it's received some added improvements that have made it even better. The 2024 Advanced SL 0 we tested convinced us of being an exceptional endurance road bike that combines comfort, speed, and practicality. While this model comes with a high price tag of £11,499, it also offers a top-tier riding experience. 

The bike boasts an excellent frameset, lightweight construction, and a high-end spec to complete it. It rolls on 32mm (measured at 34.2mm) Cadex Classic tubeless tyres that are wide, but hence for a road bike but offer a comfortable and smooth ride.

Giant has focused on simplicity rather than gimmicks for comfort, with features like dropped seat stays and a flexible D-Fuse seatpost. The new Contact SLR handlebar also contributes to a vibration-free ride. However, Giant has tweaked the geometry, making the bike more performance-oriented by lowering the front end, which adds to the sporty feel without compromising comfort.

Despite its endurance focus, the Defy Advanced SL 0 is impressively light and accelerates well, and shifting is crips thanks to the 12-speed SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset. The Defy Advanced SL 0 is a standout endurance bike, but for better value, exploring the lower-tier models such as the Giant Defy Advanced 1 we've also rated highly may be more appealing for most.

Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2 2023

Liv Avail Advanced Pro 0

Best female-specific endurance road bike
Buy now for £5999 from Liv Cycling
Power efficient
Exceptionally comfortable
Sleek looking
No extra bosses for bags for endurance riding

Liv Avail Advanced Pro 0 is a women-specific road bike designed with a focus on comfort and long-distance riding. With the most recent model, Liv has really focused on the bike's endurance geometry, which provides a more upright and relaxed riding position compared to aggressive racing bikes. 

The components and geometry of all of Liv's bikes have been optimised for female riders, and this means you get slightly narrower bars and shorter cranks than you would in unisex bikes. Liv has integrated innovative D-Fuse technology into both the handlebar and seatpost of the bike, designed to absorb road vibrations effectively while still maintaining efficiency in cornering and climbing. As a result, you get a smoother and more comfortable ride, particularly on rough or uneven road surfaces – which most of us in the UK experience a lot. 

Another notable feature of this bike is its tyre clearance. The frame can accommodate up to 38mm wide rubber, providing versatility for different road conditions, even including gravel. The 32mm tubeless tyres that come with the bike offer ample grip and could be upgraded later on. 

The Avail is built with a high-quality carbon frame and fork which makes the bike lightweight and contributes to its overall efficiency and performance. Further adding to that, the Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset with a 12-speed drivetrain provides ample gearing options for various terrains, and the bike is stopped by very reliable hydraulic brakes. 

While the Liv Avail Advanced Pro 0 comes with a higher price tag, it represents a female-specific endurance bike option for those looking for a comfortable bike for long miles. If your budget is more limited, you still get a great bike if you look for the lower tier models  – or the previous year's models such as the Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2 2023.

Lauf Úthald

Lauf Úthald

A fast endurance bike for the best of both worlds
Buy now for £4500 from Lauf
Good value
No hidden mudguard mounts

It's described as a 'fast fit performance bike', but Úthald literally translates to 'endurance' in Icelandic. So, which is it? A performance bike or an endurance bike? Sort of both, really, so that's why Lauf's excellent Úthald makes it into this guide, and scooped a Recommends award. 

More upright than an out-and-out race bike and with a slacker head tube angle than most, the Úthald is very stable and easy to handle, while the shorter chainstay length and short wheelbase means the bike still has a feeling of a racier bike. You'll be hard-pressed to find this much comfort on any other road bike, and in this respect it's hard to fault. 

If you're not a serious racer but still want a serious bike, the Úthald has a lot to recommend and is arguably a bit of a trailblazer. 

2022 Mason Definition Chorus

Mason Definition Chorus

Best aluminium endurance road bike
Buy now for £3665 from Mason Cycles
Excellent attention to detail
Ride quality is second to none
Fun to ride regardless of speed

You might have heard that aluminium bikes are harsh to ride, but the Mason Definition Chorus proves that wrong. This bike is a versatile road bike that impressed us with flawless build quality, attention to detail, and a luxurious finish. 

The Definition is a bit of a master of all trades, as it handles different terrains and speeds at ease. The geometry strikes a balance for endurance rides, offering stability and comfort without sacrificing responsiveness. The handcrafted frame, made in Italy with triple-butted 7000 series aluminium tubing, showcases Mason's attention to detail, and the unique BoatTail stays contribute to comfort and compliance. 

Overall, the Mason Definition Chorus is really an outstanding bike, showcasing the best of aluminium alloy construction and delivering a sublime riding experience with it.

Spa Cycles Elan Ti Mk2 105 R7000 11-speed

Spa Cycles Elan Ti Mk2 105 R7000 11-speed

Best titanium endurance road bike
Buy now for £2495 from Spa Cycles
Great ride quality
Finished to a high level
Good value
Durable handbuilt wheels
External cable/hose routing not as clean looking as internal routing

Titanium, with its vibration-dampening properties, lends itself well to endurance bikes and the  Spa Cycles Elan Ti Mk2 is one the best titanium bikes we've tested. The titanium frame and carbon fork deliver a smooth and enjoyable ride, which is particularly well-suited for long-distance cycling.

Despite its weight of 10.25kg, this bike can surprise with its eagerness for speed once in motion, and it navigates urban traffic with ease and also excels on high-speed descents. The geometry, including a tall head tube, provides a relaxed yet adaptable riding position. The bike's versatility is propped up by its capability to take up to 45mm tyres, which makes it suitable for both road and off-road adventures. 

With a competitive price, especially during sales, and the option for customisation the Spa Cycles Elan Ti Mk2 is an excellent value titanium bike for cyclists seeking a bike for a lifetime.

Moda Stretto 2023

Moda Stretto

Best for long miles without racks or guards
Buy now for £4115 from Moda Bikes
Quality frameset in terms of build and ride
Spinergy wheels improve comfort
Good weight for 105 Di2 build
Tough competition on price

The Moda Stretto is an endurance road bike for those who enjoy long rides without the aggressive geo of racing bikes. While this bike faces stiff competition in terms of pricing, it offers a lot of bang for the buck, including the quality carbon frameset that delivers a great riding experience.

When riding, the Stretto feels nippy and stiff, and the handling is still quick enough to make high-speed descending involving and a lot of fun. The bike's geometry, with a slightly more relaxed front end, makes it easy to handle and is confidence-inspiring even for the non-racers.

The stiffness around the bottom bracket junction and chainstays provide a responsive but lively ride, and the 8.5kg weight adds to its performance on uphills. Moda has equipped the Stretto with Spinergy wheels and 30mm tyres, which provide a little more plush for rougher roads but you don't get any mounts for racks or mudguards.  

Ridley Grifn

Ridley Grifn

Capable all-road bike with endurance geo
Buy now for £5935 from Ridley Bikes
Quick on road and gravel
Geometry ideal for long distance rides
Comfortable ride quality
Huge amount of customisation
Limited tyre clearance compared with pure gravel bikes
Integrated handlebar limits the fitting of lights

The Ridley Grifn isn't technically an endurance road bike, but rather a versatile allroad bike designed to handle both road and gravel terrains. And while trying to be a jack of all trades, it has managed to strike a good balance between the two, offering a great riding experience. With a set of gravel tyres and some wide slicks, the Grifn also excels as a commuter bike, handling rougher surfaced roads with ease. On the road the handling is neutral, making it a comfortable and enjoyable choice for long miles.

The Grifn is built upon a carbon frame and fork and has a sleek and integrated design with cable routing that keeps everything looking tidy. The Grifn comes with a gravel-oriented Shimano GRX 2x Di2 groupset, which delivers rattle-free, precise shifting and reliable braking.  However, while the integrated handlebar and stem provide a clean look, the setup may limit adjustment opportunities. But at the same time, the Grifn also comes with multiple mounting points for bottle cages, mudguards, and even a top tube bag - making it ready for a longer adventure on the bike.

Overall, if you are a rider looking for a bike that won't slow down your explorations, then the Ridley Grifn is a fun and capable bike that can serve you both on and off the road, as long as you don't venture to the most technical singletracks. 

Mason SLR SRAM Force

Mason SLR SRAM Force

Best steel endurance bike
Buy now for £5200 from Mason Cycles
Stunning ride quality
Excellent attention to detail
Incredibly high-quality finish
Highly versatile bike for all kinds of riding

Mason SLR SRAM Force is an impressive steel all-road and touring bike that combines modern bike design with classic, steel frame craftsmanship. The SLR's custom steel tube set combined with a full carbon fork delivers exceptional ride quality which blends comfort and responsiveness. Even with a loaded setup, this bike maintains its directness and stability, making it perfect for long rides and various terrains.

The geometry of the SLR has a balance between endurance and agility, and this bike handles both road and off-road surfaces with confidence, with tyre clearance for 45mm tyres without mudguards or 40mm with guards on. And talking of mounts, there are ones not only for the guards but also racks and accessories dotted around the SLR frame which makes loading up the bike for an adventure easy. 

The Mason SLR offers excellent value for a hand-welded steel frame with high attention to detail and off-the-shelf geometry. It is a versatile, high-quality bike that combines modern performance with classic aesthetics at a reasonable price which is likely to please both your head and your heart.

man riding Fara Cycling F/All-Road bike

Fara Cycling F/All-Road

Best all-road endurance bike
Buy now for £3737 from Fara
Plenty of mounts for carrying kit
Great ride quality

Fara Cycling F/All-Road (previously named F/AR) is yet another all-road bike that is also at home in the endurance category because well, it's an exceptional high-speed road bike that also handles rough terrain. With its ability to accommodate 38mm tyres, the F/All-Road is capable and responsive on the roads, yet confidence-inspiring when the surface changes to gravel. 

We found that this bike offers outstanding ride quality and versatile performance. Despite its wide tyres and fully electronic groupset, it also remains impressively light at 8.11kg, which is barely more than a racier road bike would weigh. Some of that lightweightness is perhaps thanks to the carbon frame and well-chosen components including the SRAM Force drivetrain.

Though the F/All-Road comes with rather slick 35mm tyres, they are wide enough to allow the bike to perform well on hardpacked tracks and trails, too. If you ride off-road regularly, then fitting the max 38mm tyres would open up even more terrain. Though this is one capable bike, it doesn't quite make the full jump to gravel (Fara has a range of bikes for that), but it does give you the flexibility to explore some of those byways you've seen out the corner of your eye as you are riding along. And on the asphalt sections in between, it feels pure roadie with quick accelerations and responsiveness.

Fairlight Strael 3.0

Fairlight Strael 3.0

Best versatile steel endurance bike
Buy now for £2964 from Fairlight
Excellent ride quality
Clever design details
Massively versatile

The Fairlight Strael 3.0 takes everything brilliant from its predecessor but includes some updates that not only improve the ride quality but also give the Strael an even smoother, more refined look.

One of the best things about the Strael is the ride quality, which comes from its use of steel tubing. What really helps is that Dom Thomas, Fairlight's co-founder and head of design, really knows his onions when it comes to getting the most out of the material, working extensively with Reynolds to design a custom-drawn tubeset, which takes that ride feel to the next level.

Stiffness levels are great. Stamp on the pedals and the Strael responds, not quite as sharp as a carbon superbike but not far off. It certainly feels no slouch off the line or when climbing hard. The comfort levels are absolutely spot-on and well balanced too. When you are seated, regardless of pace, the rear end really takes the bumps and vibrations out of the road; the racer becomes a cruiser.

Triban RC 520 Disc

Triban RC 520 Disc Road Bike

Best budget endurance road bike
Buy now for £899.99 from Decathlon
Good spec for the money

If you have a lower budget but still want a relaxed road bike, then the Triban 520 is one to consider. It almost surprises how just how accessible the ride is; how easy it is to pedal the bike at moderate speeds and feel like you're just cruising along. Cornering in any situation is confidence-inspiring, and it rolls smoothly on flats too. It takes poor road surfaces in its stride, with a good amount of all-round compliance keeping things comfortable, and as long as you stay in the saddle it climbs moderately well too.

Decathlon goes as far as saying that this is the most comfortable road bike it's ever designed - and for the money you are getting quite a lot. You get hydro-mechanical disc brakes for stopping and the Shimano 105 groupset has enough gears for longer and steeper road climbs. 

The geometry thing is a really important point here. With the Triban 520, it's all about a functional position aimed right at tourers and regular commuters at one end of the spectrum, and endurance roadies at the other. With a super-tall head tube and compact top tube, the bike sits you upright relative to your general entry-level race bike, or even a fair chunk of the endurance-specific market too. It fully justifies its do-it-all tag for everyone except budding racers.

Merida Scultura Endurance 4000

Merida Scultura Endurance 4000

Best value endurance bike
Buy now for £2250 from Tredz
Comfortable ride quality
Easy-to-live-with handling
Good spec for the money
Dead-feeling tyres

The Scultura Endurance 4000 is an entry point to Merida's carbon fibre bikes, and comes with comfort-oriented geometry, offering a fun and stable ride. 

The bike's versatility is highlighted by its compatibility with 35mm tyres, which makes it suitable for light gravel riding, too. The Scultura Endurance 4000 also stands out in its price range by coming equipped with high-quality components, such as the Shimano 105 groupset, hydraulic brakes and a carbon seatpost, all contributing to a nice ride experience  - though you might want to swap the tyres to something a little better. 

While the Merida Scultura isn't necessarily the most exciting bike to ride, it's comfortable, involving enough to bring a bit of fun to the ride and capable enough that it's worth upgrading the wheelset and tyres in the long run.

How to choose the best endurance road bike?

How much does a good endurance road bike cost?

There is no definite answer to how much you should spend to get a good endurance road bike. The best bikes we've listed in this guide range in price from under £1,000 to several thousands of pounds and what you get for your money really depends on the bike. 

Generally, titanium and carbon bikes are more expensive than aluminium bikes, but there are exceptions to this. If you are buying your first endurance road bike, focus on getting something that is easily serviceable and rather than investing in the most expensive top-tier groupset, look at upgrading your tyres and wheels to something that serves your riding well. If you ride a lot, the drivetrain parts need changing a lot and the cheaper your groupset is, the cheaper those parts will be to replace - and if we're honest, when you're starting out the gains you'd get from a top groupset are very marginal. 

What frame material is best for endurance road bike?

If you’re shopping for a new road bike, you’ll be overwhelmed with the choice of frame material, which can make choosing the right bike for you a tricky decision. There are many factors you can use to filter the choice, from price, specification, style of riding, brand allegiance or even colour. We've got a whole guide going through these intricacies of frame materials in more detail, too. 

There are four common materials used to build road bikes: steel, aluminium, titanium and carbon fibre and the material can influence the ride and purpose of the bike, so it's good to know the key differences before you make a decision. Generally, carbon framed bikes are the lightest, titanium can last you a lifetime without corroding and aluminium and steel are slightly heavier but also easier to repair in case you crash. 

What is an endurance road bike?

This question is good to start with if you are in this guide... Endurance bikes can easily look like any ordinary road racing bike, and the differences between the two are indeed in the details that are harder to detect with a bare eye. 

Most of the differences between endurance, race and aero road bikes come down to geometry. Generally,  endurance road bikes are much more relaxed - this means you sit slightly more upright and don't necessarily have as big of a difference between your saddle and handlebar height (also called saddle-to-bar drop). The geometry allows you to maintain a little less stretched position on the bike which means you can cover longer distances as you do not need to use every bit of your core to simply hold yourself still on the bike. 

Endurance road bikes often accept wider tyres (some even go to gravel widths) and mudguards, which makes them better for winter riding when roads are often wet and slippery - in which case wider tyres might offer a confidence boost, too. 

Are endurance bikes slower?

No, they're not. Yes, your endurance road bike might lose a sprint, but if you are riding over 100km, a good quality endurance road bike is no slower than any other road bike. You can likely cover longer distances without discomfort on an endurance road bike than a racier counterpart because of the more relaxed riding position and that is a huge con if you love for example doing audaxes or touring. 

Can you race with an endurance road bike?

You can absolutely race with an endurance road bike and likely, you're no slower than you would be on a race road bike. This is obviously assuming that your endurance road bike is quite well-specced and suited for the type of race you are doing. Endurance road bikes are specifically good for long-distance or even ultra bike races, such as the Transcontinental Race or for challenges such as LEJOG. 

What is the difference between an endurance bike and a road bike?

Endurance bikes are also considered drop-bar road bikes; they simply come with a different, more relaxed geometry, wider tyre clearance and generally, less emphasis on snappiness and spring speeds. 

Can you use endurance bike on gravel?

Endurance road bikes are not gravel bikes as per se, but even many of the bikes in this guide fall into the ever-enlarging "all-road" bike category. These bikes often have clearance for gravel-width tyres (38mm upwards) and this means that the bikes would be at home on some rougher off-road expeditions, as well. It must be said though, that even though endurance bikes do have a more relaxed geo, they are often not quite as slack and long as dedicated gravel bikes, which might not make them the best in handling the rougher stuff. 

Gravel bikes, on the other hand, can also be used on the road if you just swap the wheels and/or tyres. We've listed the best gravel bikes over here. 

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

Add new comment


ohbee07 | 5 months ago

I thought there was an error with the price of the Giant bike. But no, it really is £11,499. Crazy.

quiff replied to ohbee07 | 5 months ago

But 'only' £10,349 from Cyclestore currently...

marmotte27 replied to ohbee07 | 5 months ago

For that kind of money get a custom made randonneur from one of the best builders and you have a ten times better bike which actually can do everything.
I get the feeling that a lot of people actually like being ripped off.

a1white | 5 months ago
1 like

The Strael looks really nice. If I was after a new bike right now, that would be high up my list

Bucks Cycle Cammer replied to a1white | 5 months ago
1 like

And you wouldn't be disappointed.

JOHN5880 replied to a1white | 5 months ago

I've had my Strael for a year and a half.  My only regret is that I waited too long and couldn't get the deep orange color in my size.  Other than that it's the best bike I've owned and a better endurance bike than the S-Works Roubaix and Boardman SLS I owned previously.  It's just a phenomenal bike with amazing attention to detail.

quiff replied to JOHN5880 | 5 months ago

I'm periodically emailing Fairlight for fear that they're going to discontinue the irridescent purple before I get there...